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The Namesake

From the director of "Monsoon Wedding"

Cultural assimilation is a specialty for Mira Nair, the India-born, Manhattan-based director who found the right balance in Mississippi Masala and Monsoon Wedding and soars with her film version of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The NamesakeIn Calcutta, circa the 1970s, Ashoke (Irfan Khan) and Ashima (Tabu) agree to an arranged marriage and to starting their new lives in Manhattan. It’s a struggle. The birth of their son, Nikhil, who is given the pet name Gogol, after the Russian author Ashoke reveres, intensifies the cultural clash.The grown Gogol, played with ferocity and feeling by Kal Penn, turns his back on everything Indian, and not just by taking up with a blond socialite (Jacinda Barrett). Gogol has identity problems, not solvable when he leaves the blonde for the Bengali beauty Moushumi (Zuleikha Robinson).It takes a family tragedy to give Gogol a sense of himself and his namesake. This is a generational family saga everyone can relate to, and Nair gives it her special magic.Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

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Directed by: 
Mira Nair
Running Time: 
English, Bengali, Hindi and English, with English subtitles.
Irfan Khan, Kal Penn, Tabu, Jacinda Barrett, Zuleikha Robinson
Screenplay by: 
Sooni Taraporevala, based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri

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